Action: The audience enters the first level of the gallery to encounter Savva’s tactile construction “Pyramid”, with which he represented Cyprus in its first participation at the Venice Biennale, shaping an artificial landscape through his use of nails. In an adjacent area, a square carpet of green synthetic grass can be seen in parallel to the exhibited installation. Audience members gather around the upraised grass carpet, completely covering the artist’s body in order to emulate a mountain range, beginning to slightly move after a period of stillness. The movement evolves into the revelation of a finger that picks through the grass, growing into the artist’s palm and extending into his whole right arm. In continuation, the artist’s head slowly grows out of the grass in parallel to his revealed arm, whilst the grass carpet rises into a pyramid shape. The artist extends his hand, inviting audience members to kneel onto the grass, sit in his embrace and pose towards a camera controlled by the event’s photographer. This documentary process continues with a number of audience members of all ages and states of mobility. Finally, the artist is left alone, touching the grass surface underneath his head with his right hand. He attempts to tear the synthetic grass in a straight line - revealing his white attire, and stands up in the middle of the torn carpet. The artist slowly opens his mouth, allowing for a red rose to emerge from his lips. Once the rose has been revealed, he steps outside of the carpet and engages in direct eye contact with each audience member. Walking in a straight line, the artist approaches Savva’s installation, removes the rose from his mouth and hides it into a chest pocket on his shirt. Once his action has been completed, he glances at the pyramid before exiting the space.
Performance in parallel to installation "Pyramid" by Christophoros Savva (1968) / Part of event "International Museum Day 2018" commissioned by Cultural Services - Ministry of Education & Culture / State Gallery of Contemporary Cypriot Art / Nicosia - CY / May - 2018 / Duration: 45'
Material: artist's body, installation, synthetic grass (3 x 3 m), red rose, photographic camera, audience members
Photo: Emma-Louise Charalambous